Monday, January 02, 2006

In Times of War

No, not the Iraq war. The war against time:

Can the Army Corps of Engineers restore the levees to at least pre-Katrina strength in the five months before the next hurricane season kicks in?

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"If the corps will recognize this as a wartime situation and act accordingly, they can sheet-pile the entrances to those canals and get big diesel-powered pumps up on platforms to pump rainfall that collects in the canals right out into the lake," said Robert Bea, a professor of engineering at the University of California's Berkeley campus. Bea is a leader of the National Science Foundation investigation of the levee failures that led to catastrophic flooding after Hurricane Katrina.

"It won't be pretty or permanent, but it will work," Bea said, "and it can be done by June 1."
To the people living inside a decimated levee system, this *is* a wartime situation. Come next hurricane season, life and property will once again be at risk, even if the levees are restored to pre-Katrina status.

Why isn't this like a "wartime situation" for the Army Corps? It is "us versus the hurricanes", right? Or is it "the U.S. versus us"? I ask because the first shot was fired when the Army Corps didn't build the levees correctly in the first place. And, now independent engineers are saying the Army Corps isn't doing everything it can to repair the levees by next hurricane season.

Jeez, we at least deserved a warning shot.

2 comments:

Howard said...

If the army corp of engineers can't do it, get the sea-bees..

Mark said...

Hell, where are they going to find diesal -driven pumps of any water transport mechanism that are going to keep up with the city pumps? That's a pipe dream. A very wet storm with moderate wind and surge would still do extensive damage. Hell, and I"m a (relative) optimist (or a fool) who's trying to get back home. But they've got to do better than that.